Jay & Gary's Yosemite Hike 24-Aug-96

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We entered Yosemite via the southern entrance since we were coming from San Diego by car. At this point, it will be about two hours before Jay and I actually get on the trail. First up is obtaining a permit for the trek to Half Dome from the ranger station in the valley floor. From experience, this won't be easy. Half Dome via Little Yosemite camp is the most popular hike in the park. Fortunately, I have a few tricks in reserve should the ranger give the expected "NFW" reply.

One of the most spectacular vistas in the world I'm sure is this one looking straight down Yosemite Valley looking East. Right behind Jason's head is El Capitan, a single piece of granite rising 4000 ft from its base. Far in the distance on the right center of the valley wall, is our objective, Half Dome. Obscuring most of Half Dome is Glacier Point, our take off point. The planned hike begins at Glacier heading right (South) for 2 mi's to the end of a side canyon separating Glacier from Half Dome. Our first night will be spent at the end of this canyon mear Illouette Falls. The second day puts us at Little Yosemite Camp located 5 mi's below Half Dome. On the third day, we day hike from Little Yosemite Camp to Half Dome summit and back to pick up our packs. We finish day 3 by descending to the valley floor... Stay tuned for the details!
Now in Yosemite valley floor on the way to the ranger station for the necessary permit, Jay has spotted some climbers on the face of El Capitan. It takes some 36 hours to make the climb which means one has to sleep at least one night on the face... think about that!! I'll take my tent and sleeping bag, thank you. In all, we were able to identify at least 6 people at various altitudes and routes.

Still in the valley, we stop for a look at Bridalvail Falls. Yosemite Valley is marred only by the number of tourists which choke the limited space. It's really too bad more people don't strap on the pack and head out to the wilderness... On second thought, we'll just keep that little secret to ourselves.

Next stop... the ranger station and the permit dance.

Well, it's should be no surprise, we did get the permit... but not for Half Dome via Little Yosemite Camp. The trick which will get us there on schedule is to tell the ranger our plan is to enter via a lightly populated trail which eventually joins the trail we want. It just happens that Mono Meadow joins the Panorama Trail at the spot we plan to camp the first night

My personal favorite shot is this one taken from Glacier Point. Half Dome, the focus of our hike, sticks up like a granite thumb (on left). Our second night will be spent at Little Yosemite Camp in the trees directly above Jason's head... guaranteed bear encounters here. On the right is Nevada falls, the day-two lunch spot. As good as this picture is, there is no substitute for being there. Best time of year is mid July to mid August.

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